Jackpot! Harrah's Winning Secrets for Customer Loyalty

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9780471263234: Jackpot! Harrah's Winning Secrets for Customer Loyalty

The inside story of the gaming company that hit the jackpot playing by its own rules
Robert L. Shook, a New York Times bestselling author, delves into the business behind one of the world's foremost gaming and entertainment companies, Harrah's. Since Bill Harrah took over a small card game business in 1937, Harrah's has become a top casino, dominating Nevada and beyond. The first gaming company listed on the New York Stock Exchange, Harrah's is a $4 billion-dollar business driven by smart marketing and smarter leadership. This book is the first to examine Harrah's and its leader, a man who dominated an industry and amassed a staggering fortune while refusing to deal with mobsters and corrupt politicians. Though Bill Harrah died in 1978 and the company has since been sold, Harrah's has retained its sense of history and remained an industry leader. Following the company's growth, Shook uncovers rich business lessons about marketing and customer loyalty, increasing market share in fiercely competitive industries, and maintaining a sense of integrity in a cutthroat business world. This is a compelling and intriguing story of a company that gambled and won, and it offers business readers an opportunity to benefit from the hard-won lessons of a paragon of the entertainment industry.
Robert L. Shook (Columbus, OH) is a seasoned business journalist and the ghostwriter behind several New York Times bestsellers. He is the founder and former CEO of Shook Associates and the American Executive Life Insurance Company. He is the author or coauthor of thirty-five books, including The IBM Way, Mary Kay on People Management, and Mary Kay's You Can Have It All.

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From the Inside Flap:

Jackpot is the story of the birth and dramatic growth of Harrah's, America's premier gaming and entertainment company-and the flamboyant, idealistic entrepreneur who made it what it is. But it's more than just a simple story of business success. It's also an enlightening business tale of how an already successful company fought off aggressive (and often better-financed) competitors by focusing its resources on customer service and long-term customer loyalty.

When Bill Harrah took control of his father's hole-in-the-wall card game business in 1937, he couldn't have known how well his small investment would pay off. By taking calculated risks and employing unorthodox business practices, Harrah grew his modest card game business into an industry leader. His unique approach to business and fierce ideological commitment to running a fair and legitimate company made Harrah's a dominant and respected player from Las Vegas to Atlantic City.

Though it was sold after his death in 1978, the company that bears his name is still guided by Bill Harrah's independent spirit. Faced with cutthroat competition in the crowded gaming market, Harrah's visionary leadership took a different track. While its competitors spent billions to build theme hotels on the Las Vegas strip-replete with scale models of the Pyramids and the Eiffel Tower-Harrah's put its money into new Information Technology and customer service initiatives. By launching a marketing plan bent on rewarding customers with an unparalleled customer-service experience, Harrah's has shown the competition-and Harrah's customers-that it takes more than deep pockets to be an industry leader.

Based on its aggressive campaign to reinvent itself as the customer service leader in its industry, Harrah's provides an excellent model for any business that wants to focus its resources on bringing customers back. It's a valuable lesson any business leader can learn from-that bold marketing and world-class customer service is a winning combination.

Jackpot traces the story of Harrah's from its modest birth, through its ascension to the status of industry icon, to its daring modern reinvention of itself-and also tells the story of its visionary founder. Along the way, it offers new ideas and fresh inspiration for today's business leaders.

From the Back Cover:

Praise for Jackpot!
Harrah's Winning Secrets for Customer Loyalty

"Any gambler knows the importance of a trustworthy house, and Harrah's has certainly earned its reputation for integrity." -Alan C. "Ace" Greenberg, Chairman, Bear Stearns

"Jackpot is a fast read about a fascinating industry, packed with marketing and operational nuggets that every business leader should know." -Sergio Zyman, Author, The End of Advertising As We Know It

"In Jackpot, Robert Shook has adroitly described how Harrah's, under the leadership of Phil Satre and his team, have moved this company into the forefront of the gaming industry by implementing modern technology and initiatives without compromising the vision and culture of Bill Harrah." -Frank Fahrenkopf, President, American Gaming Association

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